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Safety precautions could prevent holiday road-trip fatalities

With winter storms predicted along the coast over the holiday weekend, motorists in New York and other states may want to know more about roadway safety during Thanksgiving. In an alert that was issued in November 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advised drivers to check their windshield wipers, as well as the air in their tires, before heading out on the country's roadways. NHTSA officials also suggested that motorists allow themselves enough time to reach their destinations without rushing.

This advice is especially appropriate given the overall mortality rate in the U.S. during Thanksgiving. As medical professionals have long known, mortality rates spike about this time of year due to factors such as seasonal effects, coronary events and car accidents. According to the NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 764 deadly motor vehicle collisions and approximately 50,000 non-fatal accidents happened during Thanksgiving in 2012. These conclusions were drawn from the most recent data available.

Research suggests that safety precautions could have prevented fatalities in some of the accidents. The NHTSA reports that about 60 percent of the vehicle occupants who were killed in these crashes were not wearing their seatbelts. At least 40 percent of the decedents were killed in crashes that involved drunk drivers.

New York residents may find it unsettling to realize that one of the happiest holidays of the year is so dangerous. Motorists who are injured in serious car accidents that were not their fault may be able to seek recompense in civil court. A personal injury attorney may be able to fully explain the legal process to injured clients and determine the full cost of their accidents in terms of medical and rehabilitation fees, lost wages, emotional distress and property damage.

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